Thoughts on Pete’s Message January 16, 2015

The worldly question is always, “What’s in it for me?”  However, as men of God, our question is, “Lord, what’s in it for you?”

True Christians must have the audacity to take a stand on the truth of the Word of God in the midst of the spiritual battle, now that the American church has become secularized.  In our politically correct “Churchianity” culture, the church has succumbed to the devil’s tactic of “divide and conquer.”  Often, those on either side of an issue are both wrong.  Only Jesus Christ the prince of peace can reconcile God’s people back to God.  The devil is patient to divide and conquer by eroding the Godly culture that used to prevail in these United States. The foundation of any culture is the family.  The family has been under attack by the adversary for several generations in the United States. The strength of the family unit measures the prevailing quality of a nation.  Division in the family allows a nation to disintegrate from the inside out.  A specific pattern of family relationships works best when men and women act according to the biblical blueprint for marriage. When we as a nation depart from this pattern we give up our life, liberty, and pursuit of godly blessings.  This is the theme of the book, “Sex Roles in the Christian Family,” by Peter Blitchington.

There is a “devolution” of the family in every culture.  At the pinnacle of godly culture, the patriarch stands on the truth of the Word and the nation follows godly precepts.  However, patriarchs leading a country  after having tasted power and influence, devolve because of pride and prejudice.  In this next phase of devolution, the domestic family becomes prevalent and men take the spiritual responsibilities for their immediate families.  There is great respect in the culture for godly virtues and adherence to the Word of God.  The next phase in the devolution of the family is rebellion against authority.  An example of this phase was the counter culture movement of the 1960’s when traditional family values began to wane.  The family began to splinter and to atomize into opposing factions.  The focus was on the worth of the individual as opposed to the family unit.  This promoted radical feminism, divorce, and uncommitted relationships based on selfish hedonistic fleeting feelings rather than on the enduring familial bonds of godly virtues.  The preeminent purpose became “what’s in it for me at this moment of time.”  Men of God were alienated from the mainstream culture and Churchianity was swept up into the spirit of the age. The church bought into the popular opinion that a man is defined by his work and his accomplishments, and not by his godly virtues according to the Word of God.

Restoring the Family Altar in the Home, is one solution to countering the prevailing culture that has atomized and disintegrated.  Only one out of 1500 families that pray together breaks up.  What happened to prayer and family devotionals in the church?  Prayer and devotion has become the exception rather than the rule in today’s culture of Churchianity.  Church has devolved into an unthreatening place catering to the “goats” of the world.  However, Jesus did not say to Peter “herd my goats.”  Rather, he said, “feed my sheep.”  Jesus said, “my sheep hear my voice and they follow me and they know me and I give unto them eternal life.”  Like Peter, we have not been called to cater to the unbelievers.  Rather the Word of God  says to preach Jesus Christ and him crucified, unto those who are perishing the stench of death unto death, but unto those who believe, the sweet-smelling fragrance of life unto life.

Evangelizing starts at home with the man in the mirror.  The first step is for a Man of God to allow God to transform him by the renewing of the mind.  Only then can a man influence his own family in the Love of God, in the renewed mind, in manifestation.  We men have been called as leaders, to bear up under suffering, and to stand in the gap against the wiles of the devil in the fortress of the home…  to protect our wives and our children as men of God serving in love those over whom God has given us charge.

The family in today’s culture is the most violent place on earth.  The devil has divided and conquered the United States from the inside out by defiling and destroying the “modern family.”  The world has succumbed to the adversary’s “redefinition of marriage” and redefinition of “family.”  However, only the Word of God can define “marriage” and “family.”  According to the Word of God, the family unit is the model for the Church.  For a rebirth of the Christian Church, we as men of God must restore the family altar.  This altar is the cross of Christ, where Jesus Christ sacrificed his innocent blood as the sinless sacrifice for our sins, that we may be made the righteousness of God in him.

Our prayer is not that God will take sides, but that he will take over…  not my will but thine be done.  For it is God who worketh in you to will and to do of his good pleasure.  Restoration of the family is not in my strength, but in his strength alone.  Fellowship in the family of God starts with the fellowship of the church in the home.  As God’s men, we cannot in our own power transform ourselves or our families.  Only God has the power to change…  be ye not conformed to this world but (allow yourselves) to be ye transformed by the renewing of your minds, that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.  God has called his men for such a time as this… Choose ye this day whom ye will serve, as for me and my house, we will serve The Lord.

May God richly bless you!
Your brother in Christ,

Thoughts on Pete’s Message January 30, 2015

A life lived apart from God is a life of quiet desperation. Many spend their lives just trying to keep their noses above water, to keep from sinking under the quagmire of the world. The burden of the things of the world and the affairs of life will keep us suffocating in sin and iniquity. Without other godly men, we are sinking in life’s alarms. You are most like those with whom you associate. Who is your band of brothers? With whom would you rather spend the moments of your precious life? Many men die on the vine because of discouragement and disappointment. Where is your heart? Courage means to take heart. To keep my heart aligned with the heart of my big brother Jesus Christ, I must surround myself with my band of brothers in Christ.

When Jesus was nailed to the cross, he could have called twelve legions of angels to rescue him from a shameful and humiliating death. However, it was not the nails that kept him hanging on the cross. Rather, it was for the joy that was set before him that he endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of God. The joy before him was my life and your life. We are alive because of the love he had for those would follow him. For the great love wherewith he loved us, even while we were yet sinners, he shed his innocent blood as the supreme sacrifice in full payment for our sin and iniquity.

Sometimes God calls us to push the stones in our life. However, he doesn’t always call us to move them. In the midst of the unmovable stones of life, God’s blessing is often in the pushing and not in the moving. The goal is to not to allow God to move the circumstances, but to allow him to move my heart… not in my strength, but in his strength alone. God said that my ways are not your ways and my thoughts are not your thoughts. Often what we think of as failures, God sees as successes. Our success is when we allow God to work in our lives to will and to do of His good pleasure. We must learn to define our success in terms of his success. We must align our hearts with his heart in order to become disciplined followers of Jesus Christ. Wisdom, patience and endurance is the result of enduring trial and tribulation as a good foot soldier of our commander in chief. In the midst of the spiritual battle, God will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on him.

As Americans, we pride ourselves on the inalienable right of the pursuit of happiness. What is the key to happiness? Most Americans have no idea. They have subscribed to the secular doctrines of this world that define happiness as a fleeting feeling. The job of the devil is to rain on our parade. One negative barb of a comment can burst your balloon of happiness. We stumble in many was. The devil always shows up in the midst of grumbling and stumbling. According to the book of James, the tongue is a fire and a world of evil, corrupting the body and is set on fire by hell itself. The tongue is an evil unto itself full of deadly poison. Therefore guard thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life. If garbage is in your heart, it will come out of your mouth. We must also keep our eye gate pure before God. The key to happiness is casting down imaginations and every high thing that exaulteth itself against the truth of the knowledge of the word of God, bringing every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

It’s easy to fool ourselves into thinking that we are righteous in our own minds. However, as the psalmist said, search my heart O God. Create in me a new heart… a heart that belongs to you and not to my selfish self. Man looketh on the outward appearance, but God looketh upon the heart.

Many men have died on the vine for lack of encouragement. However, God has called us to let no corrupt communication proceed out of our mouths, but that which is good for the use of edifying that it may minister grace unto the hearers. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. He has called us to glory and virtue. He has called us to take heart, and to guard our hearts with all diligence, for out of the heart are the issues of life. May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable unto thee, O Lord my strength and my redeemer.

For many people the spiritual battle will not be won in this life. It is appointed for all men once to die and the last enemy to be destroyed is death. As Jesus said, he who finds his life shall loose it for my sake. For I was crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I but Christ liveth in me. In God’s hall of faith in Hebrews 11, there is an inflection point, a change of direction in verse 36. The passage starts with those who defeated the adversary and the powers of darkness… stories of those who stopped the mouths of lions, overcame great armies, defied death and destruction in the midst of the battle. However in verse 36, some were torn asunder, they suffered wrongs and were beaten and humiliated and stoned for their stand for their faith. These also were examples of success in the eyes of our Heavenly father. Justice and success will be in this life or the next. Success is always in God’s eternal perspective. Therefore take heart for the word says that we are pressed on every side but not in despair. We are intimidated but never loose hope. Cast down on every side but always bearing in our lives the marks of our Lord Jesus Christ. For we have this treasure in an earthen vessel that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us… that his life may be manifest in the mortality of our own bodies… that our life may be hid in Christ in God.

In the midst of the tribulations of this world, God is the rescuer, the deliverer, and the savior. Therefore, Lord, help yourself to my life. Take my life and let it be consecrated Lord to thee.

May God richly bless you!
Your brother in Christ,


Thoughts on Pete’s Message January 23, 2015

Last Monday we celebrated Martin Luther King Day. In Birmingham in 1963, Dr. King had organized racial minorities to demonstrate against the injustice of their “politically correct” segregationist culture and to stand as minorities for their right peaceably to assemble in public places. Many church people joined the police to violently quell the peaceful demonstration. When the police opened the fire hoses and released the attack dogs on the peaceful gathering, what were they thinking? Where was the Christian calling for freedom, justice, and equal treatment under the law? Where were the godly virtues that had made America great? Where was the vision of Dr. King and of the founding fathers who dared to dream of a great nation whose foundation was upon firm reliance upon Divine Providence backed by the truth of the Word of God? Men often feel wronged, slighted, and victimized by social injustice. What happens when the biblical virtues that we have stood for as American citizens have been trampled on and declared “politically incorrect?”

If you answer a fool like a fool, what does that make you? If you recompense evil for evil, you are playing in the devil’s ballpark. However, our Lord whom we follow, when he was suffered wrong did not respond in like manner. Only God defines “rights” and “wrongs” according to the righteous standard of his Word. Many of us have been indoctrinated by our culture and our environment to oppose God’s definition of what is right. However, the laws, rules, and regulations of man do not define righteousness. If the remnant of God’s people of a society do not understand God’s righteousness and stand in the gap against the evil of this world, there will never be enough police to arrest the law breakers. No society can survive and prosper unless godly men act according to God’s righteous standard when the need arises. Therefore, quit ye (conduct yourselves) like men. Be strong in The Lord and in the power of his might. Although the “politically correct” culture of this fallen world stands against the righteous way of our Lord Jesus Christ, he only is the way, the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the Father but by him. The time has come when those who choose to follow the narrow way through the narrow gate to Jesus Christ are diametrically opposed to the broad way of our politically correct culture. Intimacy with Jesus Christ is the narrow way… to come into his presence and to know his heart.

Most men in our culture do not have a good role model that leads to following Christ. Most men did not have a godly father who modeled the attributes of their Heavenly Father. Therefore to turn against the darkness of the world, we must intentionally, purposefully, and deliberately develop an intimate relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus.

To defeat the sin in our lives, we must have a passion in our hearts for that which is righteous in God’s sight… to stand in the midst of the spiritual battle, taking up the shield of faith to extinguish the fiery darts of the wicked one.

Jesus chose twelve of the most unlikely men of the world to be his disciples. He did not choose them for their worldly credentials. He did not choose the wisest, richest or strongest men. He chose lowly fishermen. He could have said that you will be warriors against the evil empire. However, His calling was not for his disciples to battle the adversary, rather, his calling was to be “fishers of men.” The calling of God is in the righteous authority of his son Jesus Christ… we are not defined by what we are against, rather, we are defined by him for whom we stand. We are defined by the righteousness of God in Christ in us. Our battle is not against the evil of this world, rather, our strength is in his righteousness alone. When the darkness of the devil confronts us, our declaration is, “in his strength you cannot pass here.”

Our sovereign lord has commissioned us as ambassadors for Christ. As his emissaries of our our heavenly homeland we have been given “diplomatic immunity” in this foreign land. Our mission and commission is to deliver the message and to be the message, for God has committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
2 Corinthians 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

God has called us unto freedom. Our freedom in Christ is freedom from the bondage of the sin of self centered selfishness. O Lord deliver me from the bondage of my earthen vessel, that the light of your spirit may shine forth. Without you we are empty jars of clay… for we have this treasure in an earthen vessel that the excellency of the power may be of you and not of us.

Our greatest test is not whether we rise or fall, for all have sinned and fallen far from the glory of God. Rather, the test is whether we get up when we fall… the test is whether we have the shameless audacity to stand for the one who paid for our sins with the priceless payment of his innocent sinless blood. Only Jesus Christ can balance the scales of God’s judgement. The issue is not whether I’m treated justly in this world. Rather it’s about my following in the footsteps of my Lord… when he was treated unjustly, he said Father forgive them for they know not what they do. Jesus came not into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved. Three is no peace in this world… However Jesus said, my peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you, not as the world giveth give I unto you… let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Therefore, casting down imaginations and every high thing that exaulteth itself against the knowledge of God, take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. Finally brethren, whatsoever thing are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

May God richly bless you.

Your brother in Christ,

Thoughts on Pete’s Message January 9, 2015

There are three priorities for Men of God.
1. Jesus Christ is lord
2. The word of God is our sole authority for truth and practice.
3. We are men of prayer

A year of renewal starts with renewing and reviewing the fundamentals. Priorities in life are defined by the basics. God is not concerned about busy-ness. He’s concerned about our heart, for out of the heart are the issues of life.

Men in our society are confused about the role of men in the darkness of our culture. They feel that they have been emasculated, eviscerated, and lost in a world of darkness. However, God has called his men with a purpose… a high and mighty calling to be holy and without blame before him in love. He has empowered us, having called us unto a new identity in Christ that we may walk in the newness of life.

Men are often defined by their work… men of this world are identified by what they do, by their performance and by their accomplishments. However, Jesus Christ said to look not on the things of the world, for everything that is of the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life is not of the Father but is of the world. Our identity is not in our busy-ness. To paraphrase what Jesus said, “know ye not that we must be about our Father’s business.” Ye are the salt of the earth… Salt means truth. Men professing to be wise in their own conceits become foolish. The foolish things confound those who profess to be wise in this world. Foolish means to be “unsalty” or unsavory. Men of God have been called as salt and light in an unsavory world of darkness. For we preach not ourselves, but Jesus Christ and him crucified… to those who are perishing the stench of death unto death, but unto them who are saved, the sweet smelling fragrance of life unto life. He has not called us to deliver the message, but to be the message. You are the only Bible that many people will ever read. Do you know, O Christian you’re a sermon in shoes?

Some find their identity in the deceitfulness of riches. We realize that we’re living in a materialistic and hedonistic culture. However, we are deceived when we think that we are above the fray. When we, like Abraham’s nephew Lot, live near the gates of Sodom, the culture of the Sodomites wears off on us. Our profession must be according to Phillipians 1:21. Paul said, “for me to live is Christ, to die is gain.” I must die to self to live for Christ. In Isaiah 55 God says, “My ways are not thy ways… for as high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my thoughts than your thoughts and my ways than your ways.”

Life is about reciprocity, about giving and receiving. In God’s economy, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The balance of God’s righteous justice is the law of equity. God provided a way to balance, to reconcile the scales of God’s justice, for we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God. We are all weighed in the balance and found wanting. To reconcile the scales of his righteous judgement, God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life. He who knew no sin became the perfect sin sacrifice for us that we may be made the righteousness of God in him.

The first three beatitudes are the foundation attitudes to keep our hearts in alignment with God’s heart. Blessed are the poor in Spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. However, our identity is not in the things of the earth. Jesus said I am the way, the truth and the life, no man cometh to the Father but by me. Our assurance is that our identity is in Christ and that we know him personally. Our identity is not who we are, rather our identity is whose we are. For I was crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I but Christ liveth in me and the life that I now live, I live by faith in the son of God who loved me and gave himself for me. Our filthy rags have been replaced with his robes of righteousness… though your sins be as scarlet, ye shall be as white as snow.

We need not fear the darkness of the end of times… of men who are lovers of self and haters of righteousness. As the scripture says, “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” For it is God which worketh in us to will and to do of His good pleasure.

Jesus asked Peter, “Lovest thou me with unconditional love?” Peter answered, “I love you, I’m fond of you.” Jesus asked again, “do you love me unconditionally?” Peter answered again, “I’m fond of you.” Jesus said to Peter, “feed my sheep.” The master was teaching his disciple the meaning of unconditional love. However, Peter had not yet learned the meaning of the unconditional spiritual love of God in the renewed mind in manifestation. Peter could not love with a spiritual love until after the new birth when he received a new spiritual nature. Through the spirit of the new birth, Peter knew and understood the meaning of unconditional love, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but of incorruptible, by the word of God which liveth and abideth forever.

In this new year, we may pray for change. However, in the words of Reinhold Niebuhr, “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” There is only one person that I can change… the man in the mirror. Therefore, be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

May God richly bless you this new year as we walk in fellowship with him and one with another in the household of faith, endeavoring to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace.

Your brother in Christ,

Thoughts on Pete’s Message January 2, 2015

Your Best Days are Ahead of You

For many of us this statement is not hard to believe as we look back upon the tribulation of the past year. The world teaches that the key to having pleasant surprises in the new year is to begin with low expectations.

When we operate in our strengths, this reveals our weaknesses to others. When we’re on a team, the team sees our weaknesses. Sometimes the team will tell you that you need a sabbatical. We often need to draw away from the world and back into the presence of God. Renewal is required to repent, to turn around and to begin with a clean slate with a new identity in Christ. A new year allows us to forget that which lies behind and to stretch toward that which lies ahead. Therefore I press toward the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

A new year gives us a clean slate to walk in the newness of life. It’s easy to take stock of the year in retrospect and to understand where we have fallen short as husbands, fathers, grandfathers, workers, businessmen, and stewards of that with which God has entrusted us. However, the new year gives us an opportunity to forsake the shortcomings that are behind in the old year.

What is the priority in the new year? Paul, who had impeccable worldly credentials, said that all my degrees, all my worldly training, all my awards and accolades I count but garbage to serve Christ. In Philippians 3:8 he writes, “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ…”

2 Cor 5:17 says, “If any man is in Christ, he is a new creature, old things are passed away, all things have become new.” For the best days ahead of us, we need to start with the basics. We have to turn back to God and remind ourselves of basic truths. James 2 is about these fundamentals. He brought us into the world, each with a specific purpose. This is the essence of sanctification: to be set apart for God’s specific purpose… his portion, his providence, his allotment for our lives. Faith without works is dead… For we are his masterpiece, his poem, his great work created in Christ Jesus unto good works which he hath before ordained that we should walk in it.

The understanding of God’s purpose starts with knowing the price that Jesus Christ paid on our behalf as the perfect sinless sacrifice for our sins… for our having missed the mark of God’s righteousness.

A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. James 3 says that both blessing and cursing come from the same tongue. To whom do you pledge allegiance? For whom do you strive? Whom do you choose to serve? We must come to the realization that in climbing the ladder of worldly success, the ladder has been leaning against the wrong wall. The secret of an abundant and blessed life is to have low expectations of ourselves and high expectations of our life in Christ. If any man is in Christ, he is a new creature.

How do you know a Christian? God did not call us to be judges, rather he called us to be fruit inspectors… Jesus said, by their fruit ye shall know them.

When we keep score of our own shortcomings and judge ourselves unworthy, we must approach the cross of Christ. The Adversary is the accuser. He will remind us how far short of God’s righteousness we have fallen and of our great debt of sin. However, Jesus paid the price for our sins at the cross of Calvary. He who was without sin became the sinless sin sacrifice on our behalf that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. Jesus Christ who knew no sin, for the joy that was set before him endured the pain and shame of death on the cross. Because of his love of God’s people, Jesus did not impute their trespasses unto them, but became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Jesus who was the sinless sacrificial lamb, became the perfect sin sacrifice on our behalf to make us worthy… to balance the scales of God’s righteous judgement.

Our best days are ahead. Therefore forsake your trophies and your failures. The things of this world are fleeting… this too shall pass… that which is seen is temporal but that which is unseen is eternal. If any man is in Christ, he is a new creature, old things are passed away, all things have become new. He has reconciled us unto himself and has committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Therefore we now have peace with God, having been reconciled back to God through the price paid by Jesus Christ on our behalf.

Our country values freedom. However, freedom isn’t free. Some say that freedom is priceless… it’s price is far above the price of diamonds and rubies. The price of freedom from sin was paid for by the precious and priceless blood of the Lamb of God, our saviour Jesus Christ.

Focusing on the problem of sin and dwelling on debt and transgression digs us deeper into the hole of condemnation. Jesus Christ is the solution to the problem of sin. Therefore look not on the things of the world. For what the commandments could not do in that they were weak through the flesh, God sending his own son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin condemned sin in the flesh that we may be made the righteousness of God in him. Our father has called us to his mercy, grace, and peace through the supreme payment of the sinless sacrifice of the innocent blood of his son Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 5:17 – 21
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Morning has broken, like the first morning… God’s re-creation on the new day. Our best days are yet before us.

May God richly bless you.

Your brother in Christ,